August 19, 2010
- Diversification – the number of options for marketing your business has exploded. Gone are the days when a successful marketing campaign included in its entirety a phone book ad and a monthly fax-blast (remember those?). Traditional media like television, radio and billboards have definitely taken a hit due to “new media” like facebook, search engine marketing and vehicle wraps (hey, I HAD to throw that one in there). But, traditional media is not dead: Digital billboards, satellite radio and compelling cable programming have reinvigorated and kept these mature forms of media relevant. Since I know you’re going to ask about the Phone book, remember that scene in Monty Python’s Search for the Holy Grail: “Bring out yer dead…”; “I’m not dead yet”; “You will be in a minute”. Yeah, it’s kinda like that.
- Perception – The perception of a company has always been a vital aspect of marketing success but in a day where a mis-handled facebook comment can send the perception of your company’s brand plummeting within 24 hours, you must be continuously watchful in how your brand is seen by your audience and agile enough to immediately (and graciously) handle negative comments. Domino’s Pizza has recently turned a very negative event (employees filming and posting a video of themselves doing rather disgraceful things while make pizzas) into an incredibly successful strategy of openness, customer involvement, and marketing using the same media that nearly crippled them. Nestle, on the other hand is still reeling from a couple of poorly handled situations involving their logo and environmental sustainability (read more). I won’t go any further with this but if you want more ideas on how perception drives marketing check out how Toyota has handled their safety perception issues and how BP has handled the aftermath of the oil spill.
- Audience – your audience’s attention is fractured. No longer can you count on one marketing technique to hit your demographic consistently. However, this may be the most exciting change when you realize how to take advantage of it. Marketing metrics are scary-smart. For example, on facebook, you can target your ads to such a degree that George Orwell would be looking over his shoulder to see who is watching. Want to target fans of the Beatles who are Conservative and have had at least one job? No problem. Scary-smart. And if I’m not in your scope, I don’t have to hear about the products I’m probably not interested in anyway. And that’s kinda cool too.
What do you do now?
So, as a business owner bombarded with marketing options, how do you choose a direction? You first have to start at the part of marketing that hasn’t changed much over the past several millenia and probably won’t change going forward.
- Know your business – This should be the easiest one for you. What makes your business unique? What is your reputation? Why would someone buy from you and not the guy down the street?
- Know your audience – Where are your audience’s eyeballs and ears? How and where do they spend their time?
- Know your market – Offer your products and services at a price that matches the value they bring to the customer.
For each business, a unique marketing plan should exist. Beware the marketing company that tries to mash your marketing needs into their playdoh mold.
A few in-depth questions and potential scenarios for you to think about:
- Is your target audience >55 years old? The fastest growing facebook demo is 55-65 year old females. (source socialnomics.net)
- When someone approaches your store, what do they see? Does your storefront or exterior signs need an overhaul?
- If you are sending out email campaigns through a service like Constant Contact, are you keeping an eye on clickthroughs, opt-outs, and your open rates? Do you need to revise your email strategy? Have you integrated your emails with your website, blog and Social Media presence?
- When was the last time you took your best clients out to dinner to pick their brains about how they see your company?
- Are companies in your area using LinkedIn? LinkedIn has one of the quickest ways to find the names of executives that you may like doing business with
- What are people on twitter saying about your company, your products and your industry? Twitter offers this unedited, unfiltered, raw feedback of what people think.
What are some ways your company is marketing differently now than 2 years ago?